Champion 600 review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (44 votes)
Fender: Champion 600

Price paid: £ 113

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Sound — 10
I'm using a Squier Strat and an Epiphone Dot through the amp and both sound gorgeous. Glassy Fender tube tone through my strat and jazzy cleans through the Epi. I really couldn't recommend this enough for someone who want a good tone at not alot of money. The amp takes a while to warm up- 5 secs maybe- and once its up and going its very silent. I've heard a lot saying the buzz is a problem, though for me not so. Place a pedal before this- I'm using a DigiTech screamin blues overdrive and a Boss FDR-1, and you can get a nice cranked tube amp distortion with it. I wouldn't say its usable for high gain playing- the you wouldn't really buy this is you play metal though. For blues/ jazz/ or country this amp is great, handles SRV tones to twangy tele tones very well. I haven't had chance to crank it up naturally yet as I'm living in a hotel, and despite its low wattage don't be fooled into thinking it can't get loud, obviously for gigs you'll probably want more, but for small venues or practice its loud enough.

Overall Impression — 10
I play mainly blues/ jazz/ Stevie Ray Vaughan songs and this is a gift from heaven for me. I'm really not bothered about built in effects in amps as I don't think they can stand up to a decent pedal so the Champ 600 is perfect for my needs. Its small enough and good looking enough to sit in the living room, and I can crank it without going deaf in the process. I have a Fender Champion 30 watt with built in effects and I love that too, though the sound quality- obviously- can't compete with the tube amp. Just brilliant

Reliability & Durability — 10
The amp is covered in 50's style two tone tweed leather (smells the real deal) and seems very sturdy and well put together. The dial and Switch at the back don't have that plasticy feel with them and seem like they could take a bashing or two. No problems so far.

Features — 7
This is a reissue of the original 5 watt Fender Champ tube amp that was released as a student amp. It is BASIC- and I mean basic, an on/off switch, two input jacks and a volume knob. This is the beauty of this amp though, it isnt built to have features- just pure Fender tone, so if your looking for a feature packed amp look elsewhere. Therefore I am giving it a relatively high score here as it has enough features for what it was designed for.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is a great amp for the price, it was a no brainer when I bought mine. To the guy who wondered if it would sound good with a DS-1, ya, its pretty good, but I would recommend a clean boost over distortion with this thing though, it compliments it better. And about 5W not being loud enough....its a tube amp. Its probably akin to a 20W solid state or digital amp. Clapton recorded most of the Layla album on a Champ too. Mind you, this thing is no original late 50's tweed Champ.
    Just got mine and I can hook up any audio using A 1/8" stereo adapter to 1/4 and use the devices volume to drive the input to proper levels. I use my modeling amp headphones jack to get wider range of sounds and effects or either my Digitech RP7 or Boss GT10 pedals. Sounds great. Send output to a 12" Peavey Blue Marvel or Behringer B215 PA speaker from the speaker out jack. This is the best Amp I think I own now due to the flexibility using these others amps or pedals. You can play two inputs at the same time like a Mic or drums from my Vox mini5 amp and Mic through the Vox also. I am so happy with this and the tone with my Squier or Jay Turser Stratocaster is just keen. My Schecter or Dean also sound great. Get one if you can. Highest recommendation and it doesn't need modification as widely posted on YouTube suggested. Maybe rotating transformer to lower hum would makes sense if the hum was worse.
    I have read a lot about Fender amps. although I'm new to the electric world. How would the Champion 600 sound linked up to the ES 335, would it show the 'semi hollow' aspect of the guitar rather than a solid body guitar? Would this amp. be good for Rock/Blues and possibly Stax style soul
    Hey there. This amp will definitely let the hollow bodies shine. It's very transparent and its response to different guitars is remarkable. Pure blues rock amp, can get jazzy too.
    I think my MXR Distortion+ sounds fantastic thru the Champ 600. Epi SG with GFS Mean 90's thru the Dist+ and its a pretty good facsimile of the Black Sabbath Past Lives Hole in the Sky sound. Pretty metalable if you ask me. Which nobody did, but still.
    Hey there. I have been playing My champion 600 for the past year. I use a Custom shop Telecaster, a Deluxe Strat and a PRS custom 24 through it. So far i have not found any problems with either the quality of the sound, useabillity or its construction. The only minor thing that bothers me about it is the fact that its not loud enough to gig. But then I have a fender twin amp (pro tube series) for that.I think its simplicity is incredable, It really makes quality instruments (like i use) work for their money ie: pure tone from the guitar!!. my overall opinion is that for 150 quid you WILL NOT find a better amp. My nephew was asking me if he could plug his RG ibanez into it with a proccesser thing he uses for his shreading..... mybe im a purist but he is now banished from my music room for next 6 months as punishment.
    Sounds very smooth and creamy with a les paul. Good breakup for every thing up to some punk and higher, but I just through on a MXR m69 prime distortion and it will reach the sky. The best thing about it is the way it plays different for all guitars, from single coils to hum-buckers, low outputs to highs. It makes them all sing.
    Had mine for about 6 months now. Solid little fella. Love it's transparency. Running a '03 godin LG hmb, '04 godin LG p90 and occasionally a '60s maestro hollow body for slide through my simple man setup of a crybaby and soul food. The beauty of this amp is not in its versatility, but in its transparency . It does what a guitar amp is supposed to do; amplify a guitar. This amp will highlight a guitars characteristics and has greatly improved my technique and pick attack. It's not the be all to end all amp, but certainly a affordable solution. Also gets pretty loud. Don't know how you cats can play at 6 in your apt ๐Ÿ˜
    The lack of the headphone jack is not the worst thing about this little wonder made by Fender. Usually, Fender doesn't make nonsense amps, no matter what type of amp we're talking about. If it's a 'bang-for-the-bucks', then it's real loud and the basic features are perfect. If it's an expensive all-tube amp, then it has the best sound in the world. But this amp is a nonsense. Why would anyone pay so much money for an amp which can be hardly used even for a bedroom practice? You need at least 10 W, if you have normal equipment, otherwise all your cables and pedals will 'eat' most of the signal, and the 5 W will become 1 or 2. About the output of a mobile phone ring... The same problems occur if you want to use it for records: it just doesn't have enough gain for it. Otherwise, Fender is still waving the flag of those legendary products of the '60s and '70s. A safe value!
    Sounds like you have never played this amp. It is quite loud, I use it in my apartment and for low- to moderate-volume rehearsals. My band mates love to play the thing, even the ones who have bigger vox or fender tube amps. For practicing or jamming it sounds absolutely fantastic with a TS9 (drive down level up), mxr carbon copy delay and ehx reverb. What's the point of having this amp? it sounds great and is a pleasure to play.